Young Warriors help England claim World Championship title

Huw Taylor, Jack Singleton and Andrew Kitchener helped England Under 20s win the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester last Saturday, as they swept aside Ireland 45-21 in the final at the AJ Bell Stadium. 

Hooker Singleton and lock Taylor both started the clash, with Taylor crossing the whitewash in a dominant first-half, before fellow second rower Kitchener entered the fray after the break as England went on to lift the trophy.

Martin Haag’s side scored three first-half tries through Joe Marchant, Callum Chick and Warriors’ Taylor, with Harry Mallinder converting all three in a fine spell of rugby which saw them lead 21-0 at the break. 

Ireland came back into the game with converted tries from Adam McBurney and Shane Daly but Mallinder crossed twice himself, also kicking two conversions and a penalty.

A second try from Marchant, which Mallinder converted, added further gloss to England's victory despite Ireland's late consolation through Max Deegan.

It was the third time in four years the Under 20s have been crowned champions, and a fantastic transformation after their disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign earlier this year. 

Following the victory, Warriors Academy star Singleton said: “It's just so surreal from where we have come from in the 6 Nations just a few months ago to now. 

“We worked so hard on the weeks and camps before this and to come out as world champions is something I dreamed of and something I never really thought would happen. 

“But it has happened, and I'm going to take it all in and enjoy it.”

The six-try victory rounded off a memorable day for England Rugby following the success of the senior side in sealing a 3-0 series whitewash over Australia.

Head Coach Martin Haag said: 'We’ve shown incredible team spirit which is a key ingredient to any side.

“The performance was outstanding. I thought the way we adapted and turned defence into attack was brilliant.

“The way the players handled the pressure over the 80 minutes is massive credit to them.

“These players have a huge amount of potential, they have a bright future ahead of them and this is just part of their rugby journey.

“The key thing for me is that they’ve made some friendships and bonds that will last for life and have made a little bit of history for themselves. 

“Some of this group will be available next year and we want to continue the great work that is being done at Under 16 and 18 level by John Fletcher and the player pathway.

‘We saw England complete a series whitewash in Australia and the majority of those guys have come through that pathway.  Our challenge as coaches is to continue that.”

England team: 15 Max Malins (Saracens), 14 Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins), 13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins), 12 Johnny Williams (London Irish), 11 Matt Gallagher (Saracens), 10 Harry Mallinder (C) (Northampton Saints), 9 Max Green (Yorkshire Carnegie); 1 Lewis Boyce (Yorkshire Carnegie), 2 Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors), 3 Billy Walker (Saracens), 4 Stan South (Harlequins), 5 Huw Taylor (Worcester Warriors), 6 George Nott (Sale Sharks), 7 Will Evans (Leicester Tigers), 8 Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons)

Replacements: 16 Charlie Piper (Harlequins), 17 Tom West (Wasps), 18 Will Stuart (Wasps), 19  Andrew Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), 20 Jack Willis (Wasps), 21 Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby), 22 Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie), 23 Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)

England results:
England 48-10 Italy (Tuesday 7 June), Manchester City Academy Stadium
England 44-0 Scotland (Saturday 11 June), Manchester City Academy Stadium
England 17-13 Australia (Wednesday 15 June), AJ Bell Stadium
England 39-17 South Africa (Monday 20 June), Manchester City Academy Stadium
Final – England 45-21 v Ireland (Saturday 25 June), AJ Bell Stadium